Chapter 15.24


15.24.010    Purpose.

15.24.020    Definitions.

15.24.030    Duties of the building department.

15.24.040    Permit review and inspection requirements.

15.24.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to adopt an expedited, streamlined solar permitting process that complies with the Solar Rights Act and AB 2188 (Chapter 521, Statutes 2014) to achieve timely and cost-effective installations of small residential rooftop solar energy systems. This chapter encourages the use of solar systems by removing unreasonable barriers, minimizing costs to property owners and the city, and expanding the ability of property owners to install solar energy systems. This chapter allows the city to achieve these goals while protecting the public health and safety. (Ord. 897 §1(part), 2015)

15.24.020 Definitions.

A.    The following words and phrases as used in this chapter are defined as follows:

"Electronic submittal" means the utilization of one or more of the following:

1.    E-mail;

2.    The Internet;

3.    Facsimile.

"Small residential rooftop solar energy system" means all of the following:

1.    A solar energy system that is no larger than ten kilowatts alternating current nameplate rating or thirty kilowatts thermal.

2.    A solar energy system that conforms to all applicable state fire, structural, electrical, and other building codes as adopted or amended by the city and paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) of Section 714 of the Civil Code, as such section or subdivision may be amended, renumbered, or redesignated from time to time.

3.    A solar energy system that is installed on a single or duplex family dwelling.

4.    A solar panel or module array that does not exceed the maximum legal building height as defined by the authority having jurisdiction.

"Solar energy system" has the same meaning set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 801.5 of the Civil Code, as such section or subdivision may be amended, renumbered, or redesignated from time to time. (Ord. 897 §1(part), 2015)

15.24.030 Duties of the building department.

A.    As per Section 65850.5 of the California Government Code, the building department shall develop an expedited permitting process which shall include the adoption of a checklist of all requirements for which a small residential solar energy system may be eligible for expedited review.

B.    All documents required for the submission of an expedited solar energy system application shall be made available on the city’s website.

C.    An applicant may submit the permit application and associated documentation to the city’s building department in person, by mail, or by electronic submittal along with the permit fee.

D.    In the case of electronic submittal, an applicant’s electronic signature shall be accepted on all forms, application and other documents in lieu of a wet signature. For purposes of this section, the city will accept as an electronic signature an electronic copy, such as a facsimile image or an electronic image (such as a PDF), of an applicant’s original signature. (Ord. 897 §1(part), 2015)

15.24.040 Permit review and inspection requirements.

A.    Prior to submitting an application, the applicant shall:

1.    Verify to the applicant’s reasonable satisfaction through the use of standard engineering evaluation techniques that the support structure for the small residential rooftop solar energy system is stable and adequate to transfer all wind, seismic, and dead and live loads associated with the system to the building foundation; and

2.    At the applicant’s cost, verify to the applicant’s reasonable satisfaction using standard electrical inspection techniques that the existing electrical system including existing line, load, ground and bonding wiring as well as main panel and subpanel sizes are adequately sized, based on the existing electrical system’s current use, to carry all new photovoltaic electrical loads.

B.    An application that satisfies the information requirements in the checklist, as determined by the building official, shall be deemed complete. Upon receipt of an incomplete application, the building official shall issue a written correction notice detailing all deficiencies in the application and any additional information required to be eligible for expedited permit issuance.

C.    For a small residential rooftop solar energy system eligible for expedited review, only one inspection shall be required, which shall be done in a timely manner and may include a consolidated inspection by the building official and fire chief. If a small residential rooftop solar energy system fails inspection, a subsequent inspection is authorized; however, the subsequent inspection need not conform to the requirements of this subsection.

D.    Upon confirmation by the building official of the application and supporting documentation being complete and meeting the requirements of the checklist, the building official shall administratively approve the application and issue all required permits or authorizations. Such approval does not authorize an applicant to connect the small residential rooftop energy system to the local utility provider’s electricity grid. The applicant is responsible for obtaining such approval or permission from the local utility provider. (Ord. 897 §1(part), 2015)